Armed people ‘ruling’ KP’s southern districts: Fazl

Published August 1, 2022
Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses a press conference in Peshawar on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses a press conference in Peshawar on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed on Sunday that local administration and police in southern districts of Khyber Pakhtun­khwa had become “powerless” as armed people were “ruling” those areas.

Talking to reporters following the meeting of a tribal jirga of North Waziris­tan district, Mr Rehman said all the southern districts, including Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Karak, and North and South Waziristan, were under the control of armed people.

According to a Dawn.com report, Mr Rehman said the federal government’s decision to complete its tenure and hold general elections on time had PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s blessing. Mr Rehman said every person should understand the sensitivity of the challenge the current government had accepted by coming to power and called on the people to not vote again for the PTI.

“Voting for the PTI is [akin to] becoming a participant in the country’s destruction and this has no other meaning.”

Mr Rehman, who heads his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, said he will meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif soon to discuss this issue, adding the government would have to seriously consider reports about this situation and determine the root cause of the matter.

Mr Rehman recalled that Utmanzai tribe of North Waziristan had staged a sit-in, demanding protection against targeted killings. He said JUI-F’s tehsil emir, a union council chairman and a provincial assembly candidate were recently killed in targeted attacks in North Waziristan district. “A few days later, four or five other people were also killed,” he added.

The JUI-F leader said no one is secure in North Waziristan. “Local tribesmen know how to protect their area; however, the government has snatched their arms from them and put an end to practices like maintaining lashkar, leaving the tribesmen hapless,” he lamented.

On the other hand, he said, those wielding guns are completely independent as they raid areas and kill people at will. These “weaknesses” on the part of the state have led to maladministration, causing despair to the general public.

Mr Rehman regretted that those wielding powers lacked sense and those having sense lacked power.

He said the state and the institutions have to think about this and give the people right to protect themselves.

He said that before the merger, tribal youth were given hopes that after the absorption of the region, they will come on a par with those in settled areas. However, he claimed, the situation has rather taken a turn for the worse.

He said it was not clear as to what the establishment was up to at the time of merger or what kind of “international pressure” it faced as they did not pay any attention to the JUI-F’s opposition to the plan.

“Now there is no administration, police or development activities in the merged districts,” he said.

Mr Rehman alleged that even the money meant for the development projects was falling prey to extortion.

In reply to a question, he said they had received complaints that development funds were being paid as extortion.

Praising said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said under this project roads and power transmission lines were to be laid and Gwadar port was to be built, the second deepest in Asia.

He said Gwadar could have overshadowed Bandar Abbas and Chabahar ports. He said Gwadar could have become most successful seaport, but it was allegedly ruined by the PTI government. He said the Financial Times report about the PTI funding showed that UAE rulers had also contributed funding to ensure Imran Khan’s elevation to power and sabotage of the CPEC. He regretted that once the deepest port was now just 11 feet deep after being filled by sand.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2022

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